The performance of fallible counters is investigated in the context of pacemaker-counter models of interval timing. Failure to reliably transmit signals from one stage of a counter to the next generates periodicity in mean and variance of counts registered, with means power functions of input and standard deviations approximately proportional to the means (Weber's law). The transition diagrams and matrices of the counter are self-similar: Their eigenvalues have a fractal form and closely approximate Julia sets. The distributions of counts registered and of hitting times approximate Weibull densities, which provide the foundation for a signal-detection model of discrimination. Different schemes for weighting the values of each stage may be established by conditioning. As higher order stages of a cascade come on-line the veridicality of lower order stages degrades, leading to scale-invariance in error. The capacity of a counter is more likely to be limited by fallible transmission between stages than by a paucity of stages. Probabilities of successful transmission between stages of a binary counter around 0.98 yield predictions consistent with performance in temporal discrimination and production and with channel capacities for identification of unidimensional stimuli.
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